Lufthansa Lost MY Luggage - NO HELP BY AIRLINE

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Jan 13, 2017
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Dear Forum,

I have emailed and called Lufthansa so many dozens of times I cannot even recall the number. My bags have been missing for 12 days now since January 3rd and I don't know what to do.

I've also used your contacts above and emailed Henry Bickel and Sharon Murphy but received no response, as you suggested to other readers.

I also filed a report with the BBB but have not yet received a response

I am getting absolutely no direction whenever I call Lufthansa. I get responses to my emails that say it will take 2-3 months to answer.

Can you please help? Below is the email I've sent to Central Baggage Tracing AND Customer Service on numerous occasions.


-Michael
_________________
On the 3rd of January 2017 I flew on LH 989 from Amsterdam to Frankfurt. The flight left Amsterdam late and landed late at 12:20pm with only very few minutes to RUN from Terminal A to Terminal Z to catch LH 426. My boyfriend and I barely made it to the gate before the door closed.

Both flights Lh989 and LH426 were extremely nice (the purser, and attendants were extremely friendly and the pilots flew beautifully and the service was simply impeccable). However, the transfer between the two flights resulted in us being extremely sweaty by running.

Why would you have SUCH a tight, narrow, and almost impossible connection on the itinerary? Even if LH 989 had landed on time, it would have been so hard to make the connection. We had to ask to go to the front of the line for passport check and several passengers making the super tight connection had to skip the entire line.

When we landed in the United States in Philadelphia we found out that BOTH of our suitcases were missing. Apparently one suitcase was still in Frankfurt, and the other suitcase was "somewhere in the world." The two Lufthansa Agents in Philadelphia were extremely, extremely, extremely, extremely unhelpful.

How can you run an airline where passengers have to RUN between terminals, even if the plane was only 10 minutes late? It is inappropriate and unprofessional to schedule international flights so narrowly apart. I implore you to have a 1 hour or 75 minute minimum transfer time at Frankfurt. Perhaps it can be 45 minutes at small, regional airports but not at Frankfurt.

Now, we are left with no underwear, toiletries, pants, medicine, and other supplies that are still in my checked bag. Where are our bags? Will they show up - and when?

Is there any compensation or remedy you can provide?

As I said previously, the flights and flight attendants and pilots were simply exquisite, and professional. However, the staff on the ground as well as their demeanor and way in which they handled the situation was archaic, unprofessional, and a testament to the fact that retraining or even the institution of basic professional standards are needed for Lufthansa Agents at Philadelphia Airport.

I await your response.
Michael
 
Nov 21, 2014
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Michael, it appears that you either booked this connection or accepted this connection without considering it would be tight if not impossible to make if your flight was delayed even a few minutes. There are almost always other connections that you could have booked allowing a greater time between flights. When we fly through LHR (Heathrow), I want a minimum of 3 hrs to make my onward connection. These big international airports like Frankfurt are not easy to transfer flights and accepting close connections is a recipe for disaster. Your letter is putting a lot of blame on Lufthansa for allowing this connection...perhaps some of the responsibility was yours. Have they assigned you a number to follow up with your lost luggage? Here's hoping it will be traced and returned soon.
 
Jan 13, 2017
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Hi Nancy - and thanks for the reply! It was booked with points, and it was the only routing available (there were flights earlier in the day AMS - FRA but not with points as reward ticket).

They've assigned a number to follow-up but it's going nowhere... I call up and they tell me "we're still looking for it" and to call back tomorrow. It's like Groundhog Day.

And yes, while it is a tight connection, I verified with them before booking it that it was a doable connection and they said "if the computer allows you to book it, then we guarantee that you can make the connection." Well, we did but not the bags....
 
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CTP

Dec 26, 2014
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Sadly, I have noticed that those "tight" connections are often the "cheapest". To get what I consider a decent (safe) layover the price of the ticket goes up. That is most likely why the only award space was with the undesirable connection time.
 
Jan 13, 2017
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Sadly, I have noticed that those "tight" connections are often the "cheapest". To get what I consider a decent (safe) layover the price of the ticket goes up. That is most likely why the only award space was with the undesirable connection time.
Ahhh, could very-well be. Any ideas on what to do now?
 
Sep 19, 2015
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Michael V I am a frequent LH flyer and I agree that the minimum connection time is not realistic -- It may be if one is connecting at A for Schengen to Schengen flights, but not from Schengen to non-Schengen -- ie passport control. The minimum I have taken at FRA was 100 minutes (1 hour 40) but that was a flight that landed at 5:30 am and there would be less people and lines.

The airports approve these times and the airline computer software just books them. I have preferred to lake long layovers over short.

It has been over a year since I had a delayed baggage claim with LH. I did the online tracking which I imagine you have tried, and I remember calling a missing luggage number and it just ringing and ringing. LH offers no missing luggage support on social media. I just kept calling and finally got through by calling the main LH reservation number.

Has the luggage for either you or your boyfriend shown up? Unfortunately I have seen a decline with LH and their labor problems have made it worse -- after each strike there is a backlog of customer service issues to resolve.

Have you tried the main LH number? It is really a challenge to get hold of someone at the airlines now. Do you live in Philadelphia? If your luggage is delayed when you are someplace else you should be able to claim reimbursement.
 
Jan 13, 2017
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Michael V I am a frequent LH flyer and I agree that the minimum connection time is not realistic -- It may be if one is connecting at A for Schengen to Schengen flights, but not from Schengen to non-Schengen -- ie passport control. The minimum I have taken at FRA was 100 minutes (1 hour 40) but that was a flight that landed at 5:30 am and there would be less people and lines.

The airports approve these times and the airline computer software just books them. I have preferred to lake long layovers over short.

It has been over a year since I had a delayed baggage claim with LH. I did the online tracking which I imagine you have tried, and I remember calling a missing luggage number and it just ringing and ringing. LH offers no missing luggage support on social media. I just kept calling and finally got through by calling the main LH reservation number.

Has the luggage for either you or your boyfriend shown up? Unfortunately I have seen a decline with LH and their labor problems have made it worse -- after each strike there is a backlog of customer service issues to resolve.

Have you tried the main LH number? It is really a challenge to get hold of someone at the airlines now. Do you live in Philadelphia? If your luggage is delayed when you are someplace else you should be able to claim reimbursement.
Hi Christina,

I've tried everything... even calling the German numbers and having German-speaking friends try to assist. My boyfriend's luggage did show up about 3-4 days after we landed, but my luggage seems to have disappeared into thin air. I've tried social media to no avail and calling both NA and Europe numbers. I filed the original claim in Philadelphia but the Philadelphia personnel were unfamiliar with how to do this (to put it politely) and so the initial file was given an FRA instead of a PHL file number.

Just not sure what to do at this point......
 
Nov 14, 2016
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Perhaps Joe will comment in this thread to get the right language but here's my $.02.

While your letter was well written it contained many unnecessary facts/opinions that just clouded the issue. Phrases like "extremely, extremely, extremely, extremely unhelpful" aren't going to help your case. It doesn't further your case and just serves to antagonize the reader.

Nor is "how can you run an airline where passengers have to RUN between terminals, even if the plane was only 10 minutes late? It is inappropriate and unprofessional to schedule international flights so narrowly apart." very helpful either. My first thought is why did you book those flights? Airlines will offer connection times that only work in perfect circumstances because some of us know how to make those tight time frames work. It's up to the consumer to understand the realities of travel and realize that if a 10 minute delay causes you to have to sprint through the airport it's probably not the flight for you. I'd avoid making statements like this when communicating with them in the future.

Now, back to the issue at hand...you're owed compensation for your lost luggage. If your checked-in luggage is lost, damaged or delayed, the airline is liable and you're entitled to compensation up to an amount of approximately EUR 1 220. The Montreal Convention of 1999 dictates that they compensate you. Since you have a claim number, follow up on it referencing the Montreal Convention and make sure you mention the following via bullet points:
  • details of your flight - dates, flight number, departure and destination
  • what happened to your luggage
  • how much money you’re asking for
  • a detailed description of everything that’s damaged or lost
  • a list or everything you had to buy because of a delay
  • copies of all the documents you need
If I've misunderstood then go to the airport immediately and get a claim filed. You only have 21 days after the flight to get this started. Once filing the claim give them a week to respond. If they don't, use the contacts found on this site to escalate (one step at a time) referencing that you haven't heard anything about the below claim. Remain unemotional and reference the facts. Now processing a claim for lost luggage generally takes longer than a week so be somewhat reasonable but don't let months slip by. If you've gone through the entire chain to no satisfaction then let us know and we can provide additional direction.
 
Last edited:
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Jan 13, 2017
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Perhaps Joe will comment in this thread to get the right language but here's my $.02.

While your letter was well written it contained many unnecessary facts/opinions that just clouded the issue. Phrases like "extremely, extremely, extremely, extremely unhelpful" aren't going to help your case. It doesn't further your case and just serves to antagonize the reader.

Nor is "how can you run an airline where passengers have to RUN between terminals, even if the plane was only 10 minutes late? It is inappropriate and unprofessional to schedule international flights so narrowly apart." very helpful either. My first thought is why did you book those flights? Airlines will offer connection times that only work in perfect circumstances because some of us know how to make those tight time frames work. It's up to the consumer to understand the realities of travel and realize that if a 10 minute delay causes you to have to sprint through the airport it's probably not the flight for you. I'd avoid making statements like this when communicating with them in the future.

Now, back to the issue at hand...you're owed compensation for your lost luggage. If your checked-in luggage is lost, damaged or delayed, the airline is liable and you're entitled to compensation up to an amount of approximately EUR 1 220. The Montreal Convention of 1999 dictates that they compensate you. Since you have a claim number, follow up on it referencing the Montreal Convention and make sure you mention the following via bullet points:
  • details of your flight - dates, flight number, departure and destination
  • what happened to your luggage
  • how much money you’re asking for
  • a detailed description of everything that’s damaged or lost
  • a list or everything you had to buy because of a delay
  • copies of all the documents you need
If I've misunderstood then go to the airport immediately and get a claim filed. You only have 21 days after the flight to get this started. Once filing the claim give them a week to respond. If they don't, use the contacts found on this site to escalate (one step at a time) referencing that you haven't heard anything about the below claim. Remain unemotional and reference the facts. Now processing a claim for lost luggage generally takes longer than a week so be somewhat reasonable but don't let months slip by. If you've gone through the entire chain to no satisfaction then let us know and we can provide additional direction.
Thank you - I have already taken the steps suggested and am continuing along as appropriate from best I can ascertain. While I agree that there is emotion and perhaps "unnecessary" information within the email - sometimes it is that information which speaks volumes about the entirety of a situation when evaluating claims, etc.

Will update upon any developments....
 

jsn55

Verified Member
Dec 26, 2014
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Michael, even tho you threw in some compliments, your letter insults the people at Lufthansa. To interject your opinions of how they should run their airline is way out of line. They'll likely not be acting on it, your letters have probably been discarded. So what to do now? Regroup, make a concise list of the facts in chronological order. We will figure out where to go next.
 

Neil Maley

Moderator
Staff Member
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Dec 27, 2014
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www.promalvacations.com
I agree with Jsn- the insults should not have been made since you made the mistake of booking too short of a connection because that's all that was available with points.

When you book your own flights you act as your own travel agent and need to know the correct amount of time you need to leave in between connections, which should never be less than 2 hours.
 
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Jan 13, 2017
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Michael, even tho you threw in some compliments, your letter insults the people at Lufthansa. To interject your opinions of how they should run their airline is way out of line. They'll likely not be acting on it, your letters have probably been discarded. So what to do now? Regroup, make a concise list of the facts in chronological order. We will figure out where to go next.
Thanks for the two most recent commenters. I appreciate your points of view but I 100% disagree with y'all. While valid, they seem antiquated and based in a conservative culture of "the customer can not and should not speak up."
 

Neil Maley

Moderator
Staff Member
Advocate
Dec 27, 2014
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www.promalvacations.com
We advocate for the customer speaking up but when you insult the ones you ask to help, guess what they do?

There are plenty of other ways to give constructive criticism but the delivery in important. I believe that unless you have a solution to a problem, you shouldn't complain. You just have to know how to deliver the message.
 
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Jan 13, 2017
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We advocate for the customer speaking up but when you insult the ones you ask to help, guess what they do?

There are plenty of other ways to give constructive criticism but the delivery in important. I believe that unless you have a solution to a problem, you shouldn't complain. You just have to know how to deliver the message.
Hi Neil - I appreciate your candor but I think simply put we just have different points of view on how pertinent the users' experience is.

Also, I wouldn't see it as insulting but rather as an honest reporting of a glitch where you can book a connecting flight but "one should know better not to do so even though it's guaranteed if it meets the airlines minimum connecting time."

So we could go round and round in a tautological tête-à-tête but perhaps it's best to just affirm our differences of opinion on this.
 

Neil Maley

Moderator
Staff Member
Advocate
Dec 27, 2014
23,052
23,012
113
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www.promalvacations.com
Hi Neil - I appreciate your candor but I think simply put we just have different points of view on how pertinent the users' experience is.

Also, I wouldn't see it as insulting but rather as an honest reporting of a glitch where you can book a connecting flight but "one should know better not to do so even though it's guaranteed if it meets the airlines minimum connecting time."

So we could go round and round in a tautological tête-à-tête but perhaps it's best to just affirm our differences of opinion on this.
I actually agree with you. They should not offer those flights to be booked PERIOD and if they do,they should have an asterisk as some airlines do that warn about the short connection. I see it all the time where there is an alert when you look at an itinerary and need to click to see what it is about.

Not disagreeing about your point, I think what I should say is about how one line in a letter can turn off the people you are trying to make your point to.

I would have taken out the "how can you run an airline" line and simply said "why do you allow short connections like this when in many cases one had to go from terminal to terminal to get to the flight? " Otherwise your points are accurate. That's the line I was referring to.
 

jsn55

Verified Member
Dec 26, 2014
9,753
10,552
113
San Francisco
We advocate for the customer speaking up but when you insult the ones you ask to help, guess what they do?

There are plenty of other ways to give constructive criticism but the delivery in important. I believe that unless you have a solution to a problem, you shouldn't complain. You just have to know how to deliver the message.
Since we're the ones with the great track record of helping people solve their travel problems, there's not much left to discuss. When you figure it out, Michael, maybe we can assist you as well. Please come back if you need us.
 
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Dec 26, 2014
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Michael, I think you actually have three completely separate items here. The first is obviously how to get your luggage returned and what compensation or remedy can they offer for expenses you have while awaiting your luggage. The second is a note to the airline staff about the flight crews you encountered, and what they did to make your flights so enjoyable. The third is actually a recommendation to the airline to add more information to their web site. Most do have some sort of a page called something like Tips for Travel, Traveling with Us, etc. that is easily accessible from the home page. That would be a great place to put the minimum (and maximum) connections times but also add a caution about minimum connections times to show why 45 minutes may be ample on a domestic flight connecting in a small regional airport and why 90 minutes may be much too short when needing to go through passport control, or recheck luggage etc. Airlines WANT us to book directly on their sites, so they in effect, asking us to know what an experienced travel agent does. That means they have to provide a mechanism for us to learn what we need to know.
You WERE able to vent here, and that helps to get it off your chest, to move forward perhaps putting the experience in a slightly different perspective may help?
 
May 17, 2016
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Hi Nancy - and thanks for the reply! It was booked with points, and it was the only routing available (there were flights earlier in the day AMS - FRA but not with points as reward ticket).

They've assigned a number to follow-up but it's going nowhere... I call up and they tell me "we're still looking for it" and to call back tomorrow. It's like Groundhog Day.

And yes, while it is a tight connection, I verified with them before booking it that it was a doable connection and they said "if the computer allows you to book it, then we guarantee that you can make the connection." Well, we did but not the bags....
Unfortunately, what the computer says is "doable" likely doesn't take into account flight delays. We human beings know better.